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June-August 2012

Is Your Church Stuck?

P. 17

Same Sex Marriages P. 19 21st Century Technology P. 10 U.S. $4.50

THE TIME IS NOW

Covenant Kingdom Ministries International


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LCADC, MSP


Volume 1 , Number 1

C O N T E N T S 4 The NOW Team Introducing who is behind the scene & making it possible for the NOW Magazine to be successful.

F E A T U R E S 14 21st Century Technology The church can benefit from the use of evolving technologies. By Jimease Corley

18 Is Your Church Stuck? Staying relevant in today’s ever-changing world is key for ministries to remain effective. By Bishop Charles W. Harris, Jr.

22 Same Sex Marriages Explore the truth on this controversial topic. By Bishop Charles W. Harris, Jr.

EMPOWER

5 Bishop’s Corner

By Keischa Harris

A dream turns into a vision, and a vision becomes a reality.

ENERGIZE

9 The Big O

By Karen Reavis, Physician’s Asst.

You have the power and resources to live a healthy lifestyle – just as God intended.

ENLIGHTEN

16 Thrive or Survive

By Mark Perry, CPA

Focus on faith and refrain from becoming distracted by stuff.

NOW is published quarterly, 55 Lawrence St., Bloomfield, NJ 07003. Subscription rate is $16.50 for 4 issues or $4.50 per issue. Subscribers add $2.50 per year or $1.50 per quarter for postage. POSTMASTER: Send address changes to 55 Lawrence St., Bloomfield, NJ 07003. For advertising information call (973) 566-9100. Nothing that appears in NOW may be reprinted without permission. PRINTED IN THE USA


Editor-in-Chief : A native and current resident of Jersey City, NJ, Jimease Corley attends Bethel Church of Love & Praise, CKMI, where she serves faithfully as a Praise & Worship Leader and is also a contributor writer for the NOW Magazine. Jimease obtained a Bachelor’s Degree in Sociology at New Jersey City University and a Master’s Degree in Psychology from the University of Phoenix. Over ten years, Jimease has been working in the Human Services Field as a Substance Abuse Counselor. She has a passion and heart to help those in need, therefore founded a Substance Abuse & Mental Health Outpatient Program, named Reach By Faith Counseling, located in Jersey City, New Jersey. Jimease also feed and counsels the homeless and by God’s grace, strives to be the change in her community. Executive Editor & Contributor Director: Keischa Harris is native of Oakland, California, Keischa Harris currently works in municipal government by day while dabbling in entrepreneurship during her spare time. Armed with two degrees and resume that is as diverse as the United Nations, Ms. Harris is not one to be categorized, but rather one that continues to explore great opportunities life has to offer. She is a member of Bethel Church of Love & Praise, CKMI and strives to make a positive impact in the lives of those she encounters on her journey. Marketing & Publishing Director: Phosha Phillips has amassed over fifteen years of experience in various areas of administration, artist and project management. Her ability to problem solve and identify alternatives is crucial to the role of marketing director. With an eye for design and layout coupled with her tenacity to see things through to there completion. She looks forward to seeing the light of Lord shine through this publication. Phosha is a member of Bethel Church of Love & Praise, CKMI and serves and is dedicated in various ministries.

Administrative Director & Editorial Assistant: LaKeesha Andrews is an active member of Bethel Church of Love & Praise, CKMI. She possesses strong administrative skills, and has a keen eye for detail and organization. Aside from her love for God and ministry, she enjoys writing, spending time with her loved ones as well as helping others. Ms. Andrews is a native of Newark, NJ and lives by her favorite scripture – Proverbs 3:5-6, “Trust in the Lord with all thin heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths.” Growing up as a “P.K” (Preacher’s Kid) she’s a true God chaser and is in the process of writing her first novel.

The NOW Team (L to R) Monique Kirkland, Phosha Phillips, Cassandra Byrdsell, Lakeesha Andrews, Jimease Corley, Fran Minter, Keischa Harris & not pictured, Harry Reavis (photographer).


Bishop’s Corner

- Keischa Harris

Sitting in the presence of Bishop Charles W. Harris Jr. is akin to rubbing shoulders with one poised for greatness. His demeanor and disposition makes you feel as if you’re in the presence of royalty, but his humbleness and inviting personality makes him so welcoming and approachable. Our scheduled hour and a half meeting quickly turned into a four hour conversation. The extra time spent with Bishop Harris barely scratched the surface of the brainchild behind “Navigating Our Way” (NOW) magazine. There’s more to this man that meets the eye. He’s by no mean a shy individual, nor is he loud and boisterous. He’s a multi-faceted man whose personal relationship with Christ is apparent in his personality and daily walk. His birth name is Charles W. Harris Jr. His demeanor is strong, but subtle and like Jesus Christ, he embodies the spirit of love and is not afraid to show it. He’s the quintessential visionary not interested in making excuses, but rather in improving the lives of as many people as possible. He’s a doer and an accomplished man in his own right. What makes him more interesting and perhaps a little unique is that he’s not out for self. He spends time thinking of ways to bless others. He’s a master at implementing dreams and visions that go far beyond his personal comfort zone. Bishop Harris is indeed a man with a plan and on a mission. NOW magazine is the official publication of the Covenant Kingdom Ministries International (CKMI) in which Bishop Harris is the founder and presiding prelate. NOW keeps members of CKMI informed on the direction of the ministry and serves to deliver news relevant to the operations and global mission of the organization. NOW is also a publication that speaks to the masses covering topics such as health, finance, relationships and current events, etc. Starting a magazine in this economic climate is certainly not a sure bet, but Bishop Harris does not live by sure bets. On the contrary he walks and lives by faith. Here’s what he had to say about implementing his vision of starting a magazine. NOW:

It’s no secret that you’re the founder of Covenant Kingdom Ministries International (CKMI) and operate as the presiding prelate over a number of churches. With all of the responsibilities that entails, why take on the challenge of starting a magazine?

Bishop:

If not now, then when? Many years ago I heard a well-known pastor say “If your vision does not require a miracle, then you don’t have a vision.” NOW magazine is just one of the many visions God has given me. I recall a quote that says “Anyone can steer the ship, but it takes a true leader with vision to chart the course.” As the leader of CKMI I have a great


responsibility and just because my visions may have obstacles doesn’t mean I can’t go forth with them. Starting a magazine is an opportunity to reach a broader audience with the message of love, truth and spiritual direction. There is an apostolic gift in which God has entrusted into my hands and with that comes many visions. Proverbs 29:18 is my example and NOW magazine is just the beginning of something even greater. NOW:

There are a number of Christian magazines available to readers, what makes NOW different?

Bishop:

Every organization should have something that speaks directly to its members to keep them informed of the direction of their particular organization. NOW magazine is the oracle for CKMI and reflects the heart of and direction of leadership. A key difference of NOW is that it’s not simply a book of advertisements, but rather a kingdom driven publication designed to inspire readers with truth and substance. It’s a vehicle that will be used to challenge readers to “live in victory everyday.” Part of the core mission of NOW is to witness to the non-believer and bring them to the full knowledge, belief and acceptance of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.

NOW:

You’re a visionary, perhaps even a dreamer such as Joseph in the bible, share some of your visions and dreams that you wish to accomplish through the print medium.

Bishop:

I want to bring life to the dead places of the reader. I want readers to be empowered through the information and articles written as they face life’s challenges. I want NOW to be a tool for ministries to minister the gospel, as well as cultivate, communicate and motivate readers to change their lives for the better.

NOW:

Can you recall a time or instance that a magazine article greatly impacted your life?

Bishop:

Magazines such as the Whole Truth, published by the Church of God Christ In Christ (COGIC) was very influential to me as a young Christian. I would also read magazines such as Ebony and Black Enterprise. As a matter of fact, I always envisioned myself being on the cover of Black Enterprise as a successful businessman. Looking back, not only did I become a business owner, I was actually a part of an article in Black Enterprise. It turned out that I had a contract with a major corporation and was responsible for assisting them with a particular product launch. The work that I did ended up being featured in the magazine. You see, I would dream, God would give the vision and I would implement what he gave me.

NOW:

For the un-churched, downtrodden and discouraged person, what is the one thing that makes it worth it for them to read issues of NOW magazine?


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Bishop:

One word comes to mind “empowerment”. One goal of NOW is to motivate a person to change their life. It is a kingdom driven magazine with the message of allowing God to rule, reign and have authority in the lives of the readers so they may live an abundant life “now”.

NOW:

Print magazines have the great potential to influence its readers, as NOW magazine covers topics relevant to both Christians and non-Christians, is it the goal of NOW to convert as many readers as possible to Christianity?

Bishop

Absolutely. NOW is designed to share the gospel. The content of the magazine will reach across borders and break down barriers among people. Each issue of NOW will include an invitation to salvation as well as “next steps” for those that accept the free gift of salvation through Jesus Christ. NOW is not just a magazine for Christians, but if one becomes a Christian as a result of reading NOW, then we’re doing what we set out to do.

NOW:

With the advent of new media and ever changing technologies, it’s safe to say the world is indeed a smaller place – How will NOW magazine capitalize on the opportunity to reach international readers?

Bishop:

Our name says it best. CKMI is an international organization, and we are “navigating our way” to reach international readers. Eventually NOW will be published in several different languages and made available in different countries. We’ve been to Guyana and our magazine is a way to connect to the various ministries and people there between our missions trips. We’ve also established a relationship with a ministry in the Philippines and NOW is just another tool we will use to provide spiritual oversight and guidance as we continue to cultivate that relationship.

NOW:

The measure of success comes in many different forms, how would you measure the success of NOW magazine?

Bishop:

I measure the success by the response NOW receives from the readers. How people respond to articles is a great indicator. The content of the magazine and staying relevant to the bible also measures NOW’s success. The great thing about NOW is that it’s not just for a closed group of people. The content of this publication is so powerful that I’m expecting great life changing testimonies to come from the readers both here and abroad.

NOW:

In closing, what is something that you want readers of NOW magazine to know about Bishop Charles W. Harris Jr.?

Bishop:

I would like for readers to know that I am a compassionate person and I really have a heart for people. I acknowledge and accept the apostolic mantle that has been placed in my hands which equips me to implement the vision and mission of CKMI and NOW magazine. I am also a family man, and my wife, Janet not only supports the visions God has placed within me, but she diligently works alongside me serving as Executive Pastor of Bethel Church of Love & Praise, CKMI. Our daughter, Tiffany is also active and committed to ministry. I’m really just a down-to-earth guy that loves God and loves to be challenged.


Energize

TESTIMONIAL I had a conversation with a young man in church that told me his nickname is “Honey Bun”. I asked him, how was that name derived? He informed me that he was observed by several church members buying four honey buns, which were all eaten in one setting. He said it was his weekly routine to eat an exuberant amount of honey buns. We both made a pact that day that we would both try to reduce the amount of unnecessary and excessive calories from our favorite junk foods that in turn can lead to obesity. He stated that he would start by instead of ingesting four honey buns he would reduce it to at least three. Well in order to change you have to start somewhere! “Beloved, I wish above all things that thou mayest prosper and be in health, even as thy soul prospereth.” 3 John 2

OBESITY Obesity is being clinically overweight: having a body weight more than 20 percent greater than recommended for the relevant height and thus at risk from several serious illnesses, including diabetes and heart disease. In 2010, the Center for Disease Control (CDC) reported 35.7% of American adults as obese, and 17% of collective at home, in our schools, in our communities, American children. It has been predicted by the year as well as at church. 2030 that 42% of Americans will be obese. Left unchecked, obesity's effects on health, health care costs, and our productivity as a nation could become catastrophic. The staggering human toll of obesityrelated chronic disease, disability, and an annual cost of $190.2 billion for treating obesity-related illness underscore the urgent need to strengthen obesity prevention efforts in the United States. The IOM The Institute of Medicine (IOM) recently had a national evaluated prior obesity prevention strategies and idenmeeting that discussed the “weight of the nation”, tified recommendations to accelerate progress. which called for changes throughout American life to combat obesity. The Institute of Medicine (IOM) is an What You Can Do? organization that provides unbiased, evidence-based, First, food in biblical times was very simple, fresh and and authoritative information and advice concerning organic. There was no fast food, or processed choices. health and science policy to policy-makers, professionThis means that people generally ate healthier than we als, leaders in every sector of society, and the public at do today. Secondly, the main mode of transportation large. IOM found that obesity is not the result of was on foot. Sure, sometimes people traveled by individual choice or lack of willpower, but that societal chariot, camel, horse, ox, donkey or boat, but most change is necessary to reduce it. Change must be travel in the bible was done on foot. The growing epidemic of child obesity is no secret. Major contributing risk factors to child obesity include sedentary lifestyles and junk food. The advent of television and other passive entertainment options can also put a child at risk.


Live a healthy and balanced lifestyle:

Keep healthy food and snacks in the home. Fresh fruit will decrease the risk of obesity and is bursting with flavor. Allow occasional high risk, high calorie treats, but be sure the mainstay diet is one of fresh healthy food. A good rule of thumb to decrease risk of both childhood and adult obesity is to stay close to nature with food choices.

By consuming appropriate food portions and exercising at least 30 minutes a day, you can attain and maintain a healthy weight as well as lower your risk of diabetes and other health problems.

Keep a child/adult involved in active, rather than passive entertainment. Summer is soon upon us, reduce risk of obesity by making sure we are physically active indoors and out.

You can achieve a nutritious diet by following the recommendations of the Dietary Guidelines, which include eating plenty of fruits, vegetables and grains along with moderate amounts of lean meat, poultry, fish, eggs and beans, low fat dairy products and healthy fats

We have many examples of physical activity in the bible. God walked in the garden in the cool of the day. The Israelites walked, Jesus walked, the disciples walked, and so should we. Well in order to combat the big “O” you have to start somewhere and The time is now! - Karen Reavis, Physician’s Assistant

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21 century technology in our ministries

The 21st Century is an extraordinary era to live in and take advantage of the social networking phenomena. We no longer have to wait to see individuals we need to communicate with to obtain information, instruction or an answer to a question since the advent of the television, telephone, radio, computer and satellite. Collaborating and connecting in real time with different people from various corners of the planet has been made easy and placed at our fingertips. From using computers by accessing the World Wide Web, emails and social networks (i.e. Facebook, Twitter and YouTube) to operating contemporary ways of phone technology (i.e. texting, web access, video-teleconferencing, etc.). Internet, television and radio have made it possible to transport millions of people each day to distant venues. Since the development of these communication methods, modern improvements have been ushered into this 21st Century. Internet, satellite and cable television have made mass media certainly global. The church can benefit from these media gadgets that present opportunities for missions and evangelism. Social media is a major key factor in the success of the church and its growth progress.

TEXTING VIDEO COMPUTERS Inside the Church

T

Not all American churches are seizing the great advantages of the marvel of social networking. It may be due to the many stigmas that are attached to social media. Utilizing text messages, emails and other social media are often looked at as being impersonal ways of communicating or the eyes of the devil. We all know nothing can replace the personal touch of being face-to-face with your fellow members, but social networks such as; Facebook and Twitter are great avenues to reach the youth and stay connected to other members in the church. Outside of Sunday service, these networks make it possible to stay informed during the week and it can tighten church family bonds. On these sites, prayer requests are made, bible verses and inspirational quotes are shared, encouragement and support are given, even laughs are joined in on, and at the same time congregations are drawn together.

A Wise Approach

If and when incorporating social networking in your church, remember not everyone is 21st Century media savvy and at the same level. Various methods may be needed to begin to close this gap.


Those who might feel unknowledgeable when it comes to modern technology may need a little encouragement and some hands-on tutoring from others who are more experts in this area. Proper etiquette is crucial whether you and/or your church use Facebook, Twitter, websites, emails, text, forums or blogs. It sets the tone on how you and your church are perceived by others. We live in a world where what you say and how you say it, is taken personal and opinions are subjective. Therefore, one must practice and follow appropriate social media guidelines, while upholding the standards of your church, let alone being a reflection of Christ. Not everything is appropriate for posting in the media limelight. There’s a time and a place for everything! You never want to exploit or hurt your fellow brother or sister in Christ. You never want to exploit or hurt your fellow brother or sister in Christ. You never want to exploit or hurt your fellow brother or sister in Christ. Know when an in-person vs. a phone conversation is considered necessary or not. Hiding behind a text or email because you don’t know how to express yourself is not the way to mature in Christ. Show love, stay humble, treat others with respect and remember just because you “like” something on the social network, don’t expect everyone else to “follow”. - Jimease Corley


Enlighten

Thrive Survive or

Prospering During an Economic Downturn

The current economic climate has created a spirit of apprehension. This fear has permeated into the church’s core fiber and produced a new form of spiritual paralysis. For many of us, our faith has been challenged; our confidence has been shaken and in some instances our spirit has been broken. As citizens of the Kingdom, it is our response to adversity that gives proof of our citizenship. Our response during turbulent times should be distinctively different based upon our perspective and relationship with God. Housing values may plummet, savings and investment accounts can decline; unemployment statistics might grow worse, Wall Street may well be down but Heaven is always up! The question that we should ask of ourselves is what is our true currency? Our currency is not rooted in money, but in faith. If we are faithful to God, He promised that He would provide. In a period of widespread famine, He fed the prophet Elijah through ravens bringing him food for many days. God can intervene in a multitude of ways to provide for His obedient and faithful servants. Do you remember what Jesus said in Matthew 6:24? "No man can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other, or else he will hold to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and Money.” Sacrificial giving and sharing are no longer common practices but have been replaced by materialism and individualism. Too many believers

have become intoxicated with the stuff (material items). The stuff has anesthetized our spiritual nervous system. This lack of sensitivity has resulted in the substitution of faith for stuff. Consequently, during an economic downturn when the stuff disappears our faith also tends to fade away. The irony is that all the stuff belongs to God. Could the current financial crisis eventually lead to end-time events foretold in Scripture? No one knows, and it would be premature at this point to suggest this. Nevertheless we should carefully watch and analyze the long-term effect of this crisis, which is spreading to other countries. The Bible does indicate that the world will one day fall into great economic turmoil that will trigger a new world order centered in Europe and not the United States. We cannot afford to entangle ourselves with the stuff but must maintain a focus on our faith. Our protection and ultimate currency is our faith, trust, obedience and our love of the truth. Those who have made wealth into an idol will be devastated. But God will provide for the faithful, and He has promised not to leave or forsake us. Jesus asked a question in Luke 18:8, "When the Son of Man cometh, shall He find faith on the earth? “ Will you remain faithful? Will you seek God in times like this? If you can look up then you can get up. Psalm 121:1-2 states, “I will lift up mine eyes unto the hills, from when cometh my help. My help cometh from the Lord, which made heaven and earth.” We need to stop worrying about losing stuff. Sometimes God has to move some stuff from you so that He can get some faith to you. Let’s focus on the faith and refrain from becoming distracted by the stuff. It’s important to note that your self-worth is not based upon your net-worth.


Regina Gainer


We are in the 21st century where technology, lifestyles, and socioeconomic positions have afforded us great opportunities. No one wants to live in a cocoon without the pleasure of being free to one day mature and grow without compromising principles. We must acknowledge we don’t dress, live, drive or earn the same wages of prior centuries. Change is imminent in all areas of our life, why not our church?

! x o B e h t t u

Seasons evolve, but our foundation should remain solid. Our methods and approach to ministry does not have to be consumed with yesterday’s approaches or techniques. We must begin to think about ministry strategically in order to effectively impact the ever-changing climate in which we live. I celebrate new medical discoveries that have provided opportunities for a better quality of life. I appreciate the various advances in technology such as automobiles with electric windows and air conditioning, and alarms on our homes etc. Aren’t we happy about cell phones and all that they offer? Today, we seemingly can’t live without all the conveniences of state-of-the-art amenities in our homes such as microwaves and whirlpool tubs for example. The same way we embrace advances in technology is the same way the church should move forward and embrace the type of change that will prevent the church from becoming stagnant and allowing spiritual dormancy to take root.

O

Does anyone want to work for yesterday’s wages endeavoring to retire today’s debt and responsibilities? Can our churches receive yesterday’s income and remain effective? Or do you want today’s harvest increase so ministry can have an impact in today’s world? We are willing to change our personal lives and desires, but are we willing to make changes in our ministries? Today’s church must be on the move for God. A moving church is a growing church. It’s impossible to get to where you’re going if you stay where you are because you’ll eventually become stuck. To be stuck is to demonstrate a lack of ability to move in any direction. Being stuck is an awkward, uncomfortable place. Fear, loneliness, and anger along with humiliation will fester and eventually become residents. Remaining stuck will leave us rhetorically asking ourselves, WHAT IF? The Lord’s Church was never meant to be stuck nor bound, and church leadership has the responsibility to ensure that the church is able to embrace change and move in the right direction. There is a mentality that a congregation assumes under the leadership of their pastor. As pastors take the responsibility of ensuring that the church does not get stuck, the congregation has a key responsibility as well. Congregants must accept the pastor’s appointees to work in various aspects of ministry and the authority in which they have been granted. Doing so allows for the church to move in excellence without interruption or confusion. Individuals who insist on the pastor being a part of every decision will diminish the ability of a Kingdom


ministry. There are qualified leaders in the ministry that can meet membership needs in lieu of the pastor and be just as effective. The senior pastor is required to plan, oversee, impart and preach. It is not practical for the pastor to attend to the needs of each individual member.

Isolation - Isolation, if not careful brings paranoia. Too many leaders exist in fear or intimidation. It is important that leaders become comfortable with themselves. Lack of confidence and conviction will birth misperception. Shutting yourself off from persons who have wisdom, and possess knowledge will present you the opportunity for unnecessary struggles inhibiting your full ministry potential. Lack of Vision - Vision is perception, and the ability to have spiritual foresight married to revelation. We must not allow our vision to become dim, or our hearing to become frosted. Are we fasting and praying “Lord make us smaller?” This would be death to our ministry assignments. Don’t be afraid of change for growth. Growth has its challenges but more importantly great benefits. Increasing in membership numerically is only one sign of growth. Spiritual maturity is a developmental indication of a sustained ministry.

As we continue to move forward in 2012, anyone stuck must first admit his or her plight. To avoid the reality does not dismiss the present. The longer you remain in that posture, the more you look at others and complain, or make excuses. PITFALLS OF STAGNATION Distractions - Distractions can bring mortality to a vision. Be aware that the enemy can bring your attention to non-essential activities that will weaken efforts for increase. Every member should be able to share the goals and objectives of the church. By whatever communication vehicle you choose, it is important to get the membership’s buy in and understanding of the vision and to join the movement. If the pastor tries to involve themselves in every decision or activity there can be no progression. Small thinking is an obstacle to increase.

BIBLICAL EXAMPLES

REFERENCES

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The state of being stuck can be your perception of your present state, relative to where you want to be. That perception can become a leading impediment to our future if we are not careful. The words found in Mark 7:13 reads: “Making the word of God of none effect through your tradition, which you have delivered: and many such like things do you”. The dogma of men has hindered generations from seeing Jesus Christ. The Pharisees and Sadducees weren’t really concerned with the salvation of men but more interested in the appearance of worship. They wore their robes, they were students of the law but they lacked the love for the hurting, destitute, and disenfranchised.


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Cont.

Is Your Church Stuck?

Let’s make sure we as a church family, do not get so bogged down in customs, rituals, and tradition that we do not see our neighbors in need. We all have people in our everyday lives that need to see the love of Christ and it is our job to show it to them. In Luke 4:16, Jesus was bold and intentional. He came to Nazareth where he had been reared. As he always did on the Sabbath, he went to the meeting place. When he stood up to read, he was handed the scroll of the prophet Isaiah. Unrolling the scroll, he found the place where it was written, “God's Spirit is on me; he's chosen me to preach the Message of good news to the poor, sent me to announce pardon to prisoners and recovery of sight to the blind, to set the burdened and battered free, to announce, ‘This is God's year to act!’ He rolled up the scroll, handed it back to the assistant, and sat down. Every eye in the place was on him intense. Then he started in, "You've just heard scripture make history. It came true just now in this place." Jesus was never locked into a certain method of ministering. His method thousands of years ago offended the customs of the temple leaders, and yes today many are questioning certain methods, but check the results. Let’s not find ourselves condemning the methods of many ministries. I must say if something is not working we must seek the Lord and He will direct thy path. We should not use our energy on trying to determine who is at fault for lack of church growth; we should start seeking God for strategies, and yes be willing to move when He gives the command. In Luke 5, Jesus told the fisherman to change their method or strategy. If you have washed your net, it’s time to go fishing, but this time have great expectations and be willing to launch out into the deep for a great catch. The kind of fish you want to catch depends on the kind of bait you use. How many fish you want to catch will determine how many nets you are willing to cast to have a productive catch. We are now ministering to mixed congregations; various ages, ethnicities and socio-economic backgrounds. Excellence is not an option, it is a mandate. Ensure that you design your services to reach your audience. Remember what you think is wonderful is not necessarily the same feeling to others. We can never please everyone and the Lord doesn’t expect us to, but don’t be afraid to be evaluated by someone who has integrity without an agenda. We can all learn to develop and maintain a standard of excellence. The question was asked is the church stuck today, the answer is NO. The Lord’s Kingdom Church is always moving. But maybe we should consider that perhaps we the people are…. - Bishop Charles W. Harris, Jr.


2012 will no doubt go down in history as the year that a sitting president publicly announced his support for same-sex marriage. President Barack Obama, in an interview with ABC News anchor Robin Roberts, stated he had a change of heart and now believes that lesbians and gays should have the right to marry in this country. Never before since the 1973 Supreme Court hearing on Roe v. Wade and the legalization of abortion, and the Civil Rights act of 1964 has a controversy prompted such a national debate. In homes, churches, and workplaces across the country, lines have been drawn in the sand on this issue. Bishop Charles W. Harris Jr. has released an official statement on behalf of himself and Covenant Kingdom Ministries International concerning same-sex marriage. The following press release was issued on May 11, 2012:

IMMEDIATE RELEASE Just a few days ago President Barack Obama announced his position on the issue of same sex marriages. His voice has implications far reaching beyond those moments of expressing his personal moral views. The power of his office brings great influence and persuasion, giving fuel to those who have various agendas. Therefore, in spite of the progressive view on alternative lifestyles and the growing legal acceptance of samesex marriages we solemnly declare our opposition. It is for this reason, I feel the necessity and responsibility to respond to this public declaration, as well as to reflect Bethel Church of Love & Praise and Covenant Kingdom Ministries International’s position. While we love everyone and must respect the decisions of individual’s freedoms we believe, support and uphold the sanctity of marriage according to scripture. The institute of marriage was established and ordained by God, Genesis 2:24. Therefore “God” created man in His own image, in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them (Genesis 1:27). We believe since the beginning of time marriage has been defined as the lawful union of man and woman. This institution is the foundation our society and cultures of the world were established and built. - Bishop Charles W. Harris, Jr.


Back Talk

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Heavenly Father, I acknowledge to You that I am a sinner. I believe that Your only begotten Son, Jesus Christ shed His precious blood on the cross, died for my sins, and rose again on the third day. I am truly sorry for the deeds, which I have committed against you, and therefore, I am willing to repent, turn away from my sins. I truly desire to serve You, Lord Jesus. Lord, I desire to be led by Your Holy Spirit so I can faithfully obey and follow you. I ask You for the strength to love You more than anything else so I won't fall back into my old ways. I also ask You to bring genuine believers into my life who will encourage me to live for You and help me stay accountable. Right now, I confess Jesus as the Lord of my life. With my heart, I believe that God the Father raised His Son Jesus from the dead. This very moment I acknowledge that Jesus Christ my Savior and according to His Word, right now I am born again. Thank You, Jesus, for coming into my life and hearing my prayer. I ask all of this in your name of my Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. Amen." Prayer of Salvation - I've Prayed It; Now What? If you've prayed this prayer of salvation with true conviction and heart, you are now a follower of Jesus Christ. Welcome to the family of God! We encourage you now to find a local church where


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N.O.W. Fall 2012  
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